Letter: Did task force hear West Slope Way?
A few days ago, over 300 West Slope residents from all walks of life gathered in Rifle to tell Gov. Hickenlooper’s Oil and Gas Task Force how important energy development is to our families and community. We went to make sure that the task force understood that the oil and gas industry is an integral part of our community, one that creates jobs, supports our economy and works closely with its neighbors to make sure it is doing things the right way.
We were there to talk about what has been termed the “West Slope Way,” which describes the manner in which we have come together as a community to find ways to best work with the oil and gas industry so that we can reap the benefits and prevent any problems. We told the task force about all of the things in place to help foster communication between the citizens and this industry which contributes so much to our way of life.
The West Slope Way we told the task force about is not built on piling on regulations on top of regulations. It is not about having the heavy hand of government trying to micromanage how our community relates to our oil and gas industry. What it is about is local governments and communities using the tools at their disposal, under the existing regulatory framework, to help make oil and gas development work to everyone’s mutual benefit.
As a ranching family, we have appreciated the industry’s efforts to reach out to us and to cooperate with us so that our two important industries can work side by side. As a mother, I appreciate the presence of an industry that goes the extra mile to make sure that the energy they provide is produced safely. And as a resident and active citizen I appreciate an industry that contributes as it does to our economy and invests so much in my community. I only hope that the members of the task force were actually listening.
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